EGLIN AFB — The 58th Fighter Squadron is scheduled for late-night flying in F-35 stealth fighter jets from Tuesday through Thursday for a one-time training requirement, according to an announcement from Eglin's 33rd Fighter Wing.
As a result, residents and visitors may hear jet noise later into the night than usual, according to the announcement.
"Flying operations will begin after sunset and continue until shortly after midnight," said Lt. Col. Nicholas Edwards, director of operations for the 58th Fighter Squadron.
Lt. Col. Edwards said the one-time training requirement is not related to the operational safety review held earlier this month at the 33rd Fighter Wing. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein ordered operational safety reviews, a one-day stand-down in flight operations, across the Air Force following a recent series of crashes. The 33rd Fighter Wing held its review on May 18.
"Night flying is routinely scheduled to meet the combat Air Force's requirement to have pilots trained at night," Lt. Col. Edwards explained. "Flying later into the night allows us to complete these requirements in the shortest time possible and allows us to remain flexible with the unforeseen summer thunderstorms that might otherwise delay the graduation of new F-35 pilots."
In other comments on the upcoming night flights, Lt. Col. Edwards also said the 58th Fighter Squadron is "grateful to our community neighbors for their support and understanding as we work to prepare America's airmen to protect our national interests while minimizing the impact to the local community."
For more information, call the 33rd Fighter Wing public affairs office at (850) 883-2216. The office will be closed Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.